Honest Funerals

Help With The Grieving Process

It’s natural to experience grief after losing a loved one. Everyone’s grief is different, but common symptoms include: shock, denial, sadness, guilt, anger, fear, loneliness, feeling like you’re going crazy, feeling like it’s a bad dream, loss of appetite, exhaustion, difficulty sleeping, and even chest pain. You have many grief support resources available to help you through this difficult time.

Family & Friends

Your first line of support is likely to be your family and close friends. People often do not know how to help their grieving friends. It is important to tell them what you are feeling and what you need, whether it is help making the funeral arrangements or a shoulder to cry on. Don’t be surprised as time goes on, however, if these well meaning people in your life seem to want to help you move on. Grieving can be a very long process, especially when you lose a child, a spouse, parent or sibling. As time goes on, the other avenues of support may be more helpful to you.

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Your Faith Based Grief Support

The mourning rituals of most religions provide a strong sense of comfort. Talking to clergy or church members about your feelings is likely to bring support and good advice. Many religious communities have their own support groups and professionals willing to help you through even a long grieving process.
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Support Groups

A support group of people going through the same thing as you can be a powerful help through troubled time. There are many different support groups available for adults, children or families. Hospitals and clergy are good sources for finding a reputable support group. The following are some links for finding a support group:

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Therapist or Grief Counselor

If you don’t feel comfortable in a group or you would just like more professional help, a therapist or grief counselor is a good choice. Your health insurance is likely to cover some of the cost. Make sure your therapist or grief counselor is licensed. Generally they will either have a MSW (Master of Social Work), PsyD (Doctor of Psychology) or Ph.D (Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology). The hourly fee will usually be proportionate to the degree.  You would use a Psychiatrist, (an MD), if you need medication, although some MD’s also provide therapy. You can check if a counselor is a licensed mental health counselor or psychoanalyst with the NYS License Verifier or a licensed doctor with the NYS Physician Profile search.
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Self Help Grief Support

There are many good self help books and programs to help you through this time. A simple search on Amazon or Barns & Noble will turn up hundreds of helpful books and tapes. HelpGuide.org will help you to identify what you are experiencing and provides a toolkit to improve your coping skill. The best online tool for privately expressing your feeling and keeping track of everything that helps you through this time is the free web application Quate.com. It helps you to remember and build on the things you learn from reading, advice, therapy and your own thoughts until it becomes an automatic part of your thinking.
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